ALA Announces 200 U.S. Libraries to Receive American Rescue Plan Humanities Funding

Two of Central Plains Library System’s Libraries were awarded grants through this national program. They are the ONLY two public libraries in Nebraska to receive this funding. Congratulations go to Joy at the Ravenna Public Library and to Amy at the Hastings Public Library!! The University of Nebraska – Omaha was selected, as well.

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CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) has awarded $2 million in humanities funding to libraries nationwide, part of a grantmaking program to deliver relief to libraries recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.

With funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the libraries will use funds to anchor themselves as strong humanities institutions and vibrant centers of learning, conversation and connection.

Two hundred libraries each will receive a $10,000 grant through ALA’s American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grants for Libraries opportunity.

“Libraries have faced significant hardships throughout the pandemic —from budget cuts to staff furloughs to building closures — especially in our communities of the greatest need,” said ALA President Patty Wong. “This crucial support from NEH will enable our beloved institutions, and the dedicated people who run them, to rebuild and emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever.”

The libraries, selected through a competitive, peer-reviewed application process, include public libraries, academic/college libraries, K-12 libraries, and tribal, special and prison libraries. The recipients represent 45 states and Puerto Rico and serve communities ranging in size from 642 residents in Weir, Kansas to the city of Los Angeles. Libraries were chosen with an emphasis on reaching historically underserved and/or rural communities.

The American Rescue Plan opportunity will help libraries create or preserve jobs; support or maintain general operations; create or sustain humanities programs; and implement new humanities activities or sustain existing activities.

“Strong public libraries are at the heart of healthy communities,” said NEH Chair Shelly C. Lowe. “The National Endowment for the Humanities is grateful to the American Library Association for their exemplary work in helping distribute NEH American Rescue Plan funding to assist our nation’s libraries in recovering from the financial impact of the pandemic, and strengthen their role as local centers of humanities learning, research, and public programs.”

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